By Eric Haurupma (UPNG Journalism Student) – EM TV, Port Moresby
Students and staff of Sogeri National High School, in the Central Province, have been using two tanks for cooking and drinking since the beginning of 2010.
They have been dependent on these tanks, as the water supply to the school is untreated.
Sogeri National High School Teacher, Damien Huafe spoke of the challenges they face in sourcing adequate and safe water supply.
“Access to adequate water supply is a big problem in Sogeri National High School.
“Staff and students have been faced with the challenges of sourcing a good drinking water. Untreated water supply is now a health risks for them. Water supply to ablution blocks in the boys’ dormitories and staff houses is no longer running,” said Huafe.
The tanks now have holes in them, which has caused water to spill over, leaving them to use rain water for drinking and cooking. In several instances, the school has had to buy water bottles and containers for drinking water, for staff and students.
To date, there is no treatment to the water supply which they use for washing. The water problems faced pose high risks for students, staff and their families in contracting contagious diseases like typhoid and dysentery.
However, the school administration is currently implementing a complete renovation of facilities, but it is still a long way from reaching the water supply.
Deputy Principal Academic, Kive Kerembo said this scope of work is designed to upgrade the run-down facilities of the school.
“Although, rehabilitation works are underway, water is a priority need”, he said.
The administration is appealing to corporate entities, governments and non-government organisations (NGOs) to assists with tanks.
Sogeri National High school is a school of excellence. The school is expecting an intake of 600 students this year.